Before dawn on 17 August 1999 one of the greatest earthquakes in modern Turkish history occurred on the historically active North Anatolian Fault (Ambraseys, 2002). The epicenter lay near the town of Izmit in Kocaeli province, not far east of Istanbul (ancient Constantinople). At Gölcük on the eastern shore of the Sea of Marmara, an eyewitness reported that “the earth came alive with shaking, the sky turned red, a sword of light flew out of the sea” (Gore, 2000). Rothaus et al. (2003) interviewed many other Gölcük eyewitnesses, who independently confirmed that “the sky...

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